Dallas Morning News: America needs optimism right now

Learn more about Ken Hersh.
Kenneth A. Hersh
Ken Hersh
President and Chief Executive Officer
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Ryan Sanders
Guest Author

Ken Hersh, President and CEO of the Bush Center, and Ryan Sanders, Commentary Editor at the Dallas Morning News, discuss why Americans should remain hopeful this election year.

“Ronald Reagan, probably America’s most optimistic president, said in some of his final remarks to the nation that “what is right will always eventually triumph.” That may sound naïve to political observers in 2024, but that sense of hopefulness may be exactly what America needs most this election year, not because we’re looking backward with nostalgia but because forward-looking optimism is always a better tool to achieve positive outcomes.

“The calm and optimistic narration in Reagan’s famous “Morning in America” commercial during his successful reelection bid in 1984 went a long way to projecting confidence about our nation’s future. It told of Americans doing hopeful things — working, marrying, buying homes — released from the malaise of 1970s inflation and early 1980s recession.

“But 40 years later, Americans generally feel pessimistic about the future, according to a Pew Research Center survey published in September. That was even before Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s campaign in Gaza, which have subsequently roiled college campuses and public opinion.

Continue reading in the Dallas Morning News.